Study Links Higher Dietary Quality at Breast Cancer Diagnosis to Lower CVD Risk

by Ella

A recent study published online in JNCI Cancer Spectrum reveals that higher diet quality at the time of breast cancer diagnosis is associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) events and mortality, particularly when adhering to the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet quality index.

Led by Isaac J. Ergas, Ph.D., M.P.H., from Kaiser Permanente Northern California in Oakland, the study investigated whether superior diet quality upon breast cancer diagnosis correlated with a decreased risk of CVD and CVD-related death in a prospective cohort of women diagnosed with invasive breast cancer between 2005 and 2013. The researchers assessed scores from five diet quality indices consistent with healthy eating at the time of breast cancer diagnosis and categorized them into ascending quartiles of concordance.


The findings revealed a noteworthy reduction in the risk of various cardiovascular conditions, including heart failure, arrhythmia, cardiac arrest, valvular heart disease, venous thromboembolic disease, and CVD-related death, when comparing the highest quartiles to the lowest quartiles of adherence to the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet quality index. Additionally, inverse associations were observed for the healthy plant-based dietary index with heart failure and for the alternate Mediterranean dietary index with arrhythmia.


The authors of the study emphasize the potential benefits of implementing diets aligned with healthy dietary patterns for breast cancer patients, who are known to face a higher risk of CVD compared to the general population. These findings underscore the importance of dietary quality in mitigating the risk of cardiovascular events and mortality in breast cancer survivors.




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